CORONAVIRUS WEEKLY DIGEST #37
Gauteng passes peaks of previous waves as South Africa is granted a vaccine-manufacturing hub
This week, Gauteng once again had the steepest increase in new Covid-19 cases, while 50,000 teachers were vaccinated in 48 hours and the country was chosen to host a vaccine-manufacturing hub.
Gauteng’s third wave is on its steepest incline yet
The third wave of Covid-19 infections has passed the peak of its first and second waves – and is only expected to turn in a week or two. This week, another 27,807 residents of Gauteng tested positive for Covid-19. In the past 24 hours alone, 9,486 people tested positive. There are 141,910 active cases and 5,842 people in hospital.
MC-CovidDigest-25June-Graph: Source: National Institute of Communicable Diseases
On Friday, 25 June, acting Minister of Health Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane called for consequences for gatherings that exceed the current disaster regulation restrictions. Gatherings are limited to 100 people outdoors and 50 or fewer indoors.
This came the day after supporters of Ace Magashule gathered outside the Johannesburg High Court. As Ferial Haffajee writes, the inner city is faced with a high number of cases and deaths. The hearing was held entirely online. Kubayi-Ngubane’s comment came as the Economic Freedom Fighters marched to the offices of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority in Pretoria.
She confirmed that those over 50 will be able to register for vaccination from 1 July.
She acknowledged that Gauteng is in the grips of a “grave situation”. Read the report by Estelle Ellis.
Earlier this week, healthcare workers spoke on condition of anonymity with Maverick Citizen editor Mark Heywood about how the resurgence and the closure of Gauteng’s Charlotte Maxeke Hospital have affected their patients. Read their accounts here.
Two professors wrote about their expectations around the Covid-19 crisis in Gauteng – and how to avoid its worst effects.
And Gift of the Givers sounded the alarm once again as it was “overwhelmed with calls for oxygen”. Its founder, Imtiaz Sooliman, wrote about what is to be done.
Meanwhile, the British & Irish Lions have arrived in Gauteng for their 2021 tour. Craig Ray unpacks how their biosecure “red zone” is being maintained in South Africa’s Covid-19 epicentre.
South Africa to host WHO Covid mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub
The World Health Organization has chosen South Africa for its first Covid-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub. Led by a group of South African universities and companies, the hub will manufacture Covid-19 vaccines for the continent. However, it will take between nine and 12 months to get this up and running. Read the report by Peter Fabricius. DM/MC
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